Raising the legal age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 is no panacea.
But it is common sense. And so thanks to Rep. Camille Lilly, our local rep for Oak Park and Austin, for leading the effort to gain passage of the Tobacco 21 law in both houses of the Illinois legislature. The bill now awaits an anticipated signature from Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Not being cynics about the power of government to impact long-entrenched bad habits, we think Illinois is, if anything, overdue in passing this legislation. Enforcement, combined with public education, can continue to lower the percentage of young people who become addicted to tobacco with its mostly certain consequences of cancer, respiratory illnesses and heart disease.
Oak Park’s village government took the same step two years back. Now Rep. Lilly has taken that same energy statewide. Good work.